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Chief Scientific Officer
Research & Development
Email:wellst [at] mmv [dot] org
What I do at MMV:
As Chief Scientific Officer, I lead the team which is responsible for the overall direction of MMV’s Research and Development portfolio of new medicines. We work together with our wide network of partners and scientific advisors to move forwards a new generation of innovative molecules which will help to drive the control and eradication of malaria. A key part of my job is also talking outside of MMV about the work we do and the plans we have, and helping to raise the funding for our future pipeline.
Why I work at MMV:
It’s exciting to be part of the discovery and development of new medicines. With our partners we have launched four products in the last five years; on top of that we have a whole new family of molecules coming through the pipeline which have completely novel ways of working. This means that they will be all the more valuable in the fight against drug resistant malaria. The human impact of what we do is tremendous: the medicines already launched by our partners are saving thousands of lives on a weekly basis; these are lives of young children, who carry the promise of the future.
More about me:
I joined MMV in 2007. Before that, I was responsible for Research for Serono, a Swiss biotechnology company, with a large international team. Although I worked in Industry for 20 years, I have also been fortunate to be able to do basic research, whilst I was at Glaxo’s Molecular Biology Institute here in Geneva. It’s from those days that most of my scientific publications come from. I’m an enzymologist by training, and did my PhD in Chemistry with Alan Fersht, when he was in London. I have a doctorate in Biology from Cambridge for my work on cytokine biology. I’m a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Academy of Medical Sciences in the UK.
Ask me about:
Outside of MMV, I am on advisory boards for projects working in other therapeutic areas, such as Schistosomiasis and Tuberculosis. I particularly enjoy the interaction with Cape Town’s H3D dug discovery centre. I also get to review projects for a wide variety of groups, such as the EU’s Innovative Medicines Initiative, and the Wellcome Trust. I still stay close to biotechnology, and am on the SAB for Eclosion here in Geneva, and have recently joined the Board of Kymab, a monoclonal company in Cambridge. You can also ask me about my family: my wife Sue is now working for our sister organization DNDi as their Scientific Communications Manager, and although our four children were born here in Geneva, they are all now studying in the UK.